Up by 5.30am. In a car by 6.30am. A breakfast of water, a slice of bread, and some meatballs. No coffee. We popped out from Huizhou to Meizhou for a coffee. The 105th day of the year. 260 remaining days.
April the 15th is an old date in history. Wars, death and grimness. April (四月) is usually associated with the sound si which sounds a lot like death. Aside from the Pocotaligo Massacre (1715), Swedes defeating Romans at Rain (1632), the English getting battered in Northern France (1450) and the ill-fated Battle of Kilrush (1642), there has to be something good about April the 15th. Step forward Samuel Johnson.
Dr Samuel Johnson published A Dictionary of the English Language. Game changer. Useful for words such as olympiad, because April 15th, 1896, marks the closing ceremony of the first modern Olympics. Two years prior, on April 16th, 1894, Manchester City F.C. was incorporated. Close enough for a tedious inclusion. Other notable events on April 15th include the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic – a legendary tragedy and disaster, and in 1941, a thousand or so souls were killed in the Belfast Blitz. Doom and gloom.
In 1989, Hillsborough, the U.K.’s most shameful episode of football terracing disaster would eventually claim 97 lives, and years of campaigning for justice began. Little positive can conclude this simple paragraph and statement. Never forget.
It isn’t all grim for this date. Insulin had become available for the public in 1923. Malta received a Goerge Cross in 1942 and the notorious Bergen-Belsen camp was liberated three years later. In ’55, McDonald’s was founded, keeping obesity an option globally, and perhaps led to some chip fat causing the Notre-Dam de Paris cathedral fire of 2019. Okay, it’s really a date with some unpleasant and bleak history. Just ask Leonardo Da Vinci, Nicolas Chopin, and 1000+ games, Canadian ice hockey star, Keith Acton, their birthday. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated fatally on this date, too. Poor chap. Still, his statue in Manchester, England, is pretty cool.
Arthur Lowe, former Chapel Street Primary School pupil, may have passed away on this day in 1982, but his memory and comedic talent live on. As does the memory of comedian Tommy Cooper. Just like that. The Universal Day of Culture under the Banner of Peace adds a more cultured look at the date in question. Or that of World Art Day, powered by UNESCO. It takes all sorts to give a date a meaning.
We arrived back from Meizhou. We didn’t even get a coffee. Two bottles of soft drinks were all. We sat down for lunch. All done and settled inside a few hours. A new meaning to the date. Our own history. Yet, I feel I have forgotten the date’s other connection. I feel it is attached to a family member, yet I can’t place it.
The moon is rising.